World Bulletin/News Desk
Three rockets fired from Syria hit an Iraqi border town on Saturday, killing a 5-year-old girl, locals and officials said, in the most serious spillover from the neighbouring country's civil war.
As rebels fought government forces for an airfield and military base near the Syrian border town of Albu Kamal, Katyusha rockets hit a residential area of al Qaim in Iraq, smashing through a wall of one house and killing a girl inside.
"She was sitting on my lap just before we heard the rocket. I knew she was dead immediately after the explosion," said Firas Attallah, the girl's father, showing a bloodstained mattress amid the shattered glass in his home.
Baghdad said a total of four rockets were fired in what it called a "criminal operation".
"Despite the fact that Iraq is committed to adopting a neutral stance towards the crisis in Syria, our brave forces are ready to confront and respond in case of repetition of such aggression," the interior ministry said in a statement.
Iraq tightened security along its border with Syria last month after its troops exchanged fire with unidentified gunmen, rockets hit a frontier patrol and Syrian army shells landed on an Iraqi border town.
The army took over frontier operations from regular border guards last month.
Local officials said they were unsure who fired the rockets.
But one Iraqi military official said it was probably rebels from the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army. He said Iraqi border troops had clashed with rebel forces two days earlier after they tried to stop smugglers getting supplies to rebels.
Al Qaim officials say more than 4,000 Syrian refugees have crossed the border which is now closed pending the construction of new camps.
Albu Kamal, site of the Syrian military base at the heart of the local battle, lies 120 km (75 miles) southeast of the city of Deir al-Zor, capital of a Sunni Muslim province with strong family and clan connections to Iraq's Sunni heartland in Anbar province.
Five regime soldiers also die during ongoing clashes in northwestern Syria
Dozens of world leaders bid farewell to Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, whose detractors have described as ‘war criminal’
Syria's anti-regime opposition now stands only 15 kilometers from Hama city
If passed, law would allow victims of extremist attacks to sue foreign governments deemed responsible
The Tuwal district of Jazan, on the Saudi frontier with Yemen, came under fire on Thursday afternoon, wounding the border guard corporal, a ministry statement said.
"It is well into its terrible descent into the pitiless and merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed in Syria," said the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.
A Cairo court has approved the redrawing of the maritime boundary between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, according to a report in Egypt’s state TV news portal Egynews.
Phone call dominated by violence in Aleppo plus Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria
Turkish foreign minister insists any joint efforts must contain political solution, ceasefire
U.S. supports extremism by refusing to collaborate with Russia on fight against ISIL, Deputy Russian FM says
Funeral of former Israeli PM Shimon Peres – who passed away Wednesday – to be held same day
Russia said Wednesday it was ready to relaunch talks in Geneva with the United States following the collapse of a ceasefire.
"I'm afraid that this bill will have dire strategic implications" for the United States, Salman al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), said.
Government is 17th since Jordan's King Abdullah II took throne in 1999
The UN Chief has condemned the recent attacks saying that those responsible have turned Syria into a slaughter house
Currently, over 7,000 Palestinians are languishing in Israeli prisons